Amazon ended up quietly shrinking the size of the "Add-on" program, making it easier for Prime shoppers to buy a pocket-sized lip balm for $ 1.20 or Happy Air Freshers for $ 0.99 without had to reach the magical $ 25 figure.
At a revenue interview with reporters on Thursday, Amazon Finance Minister Brian Olsavsky, confirmed this change when I asked about it, prompted by a story from Recode earlier this month that highlighted the move. In quite a few cases, these items are now even available for one-day shipping. However, Amazon's press office had refused to say much about the previous report.
"We have an add-on program globally," Olsavsky told me. "What I want to say is that we have visited what products we have added to that program, and in the US over the last six months we have reduced the number of ASINs that are in the add-on program."  Incidentally, ASINs are Amazon Standard Identification Numbers, which are given to every type of product the company sells. Olsavsky gave no other details about this change and went on to another question.
If you are not a Prime member, you will still need to pack $ 25 worth of goods to receive free shipping. Otherwise, Amazon can charge you for about $ 6 apiece for these affordable items.
Amazon scaling back the "Add-on" program can be a boon to Prime customers interested in quickly grabbing small things without having to worry about grouping them with other things. For Amazon, the change can help it reinforce the reflex it has trained in Prime customers to come to it first for whatever they want.
The change is likely a sign of Amazon's multibillion-dollar investment in its shipping and storage infrastructure, as it works to make the two-day Prime Delivery program a day. This effort includes expanding Amazon's local delivery network, which is likely to drive some of this work. But, as Amazon showed in its latest quarterly reporton Thursday, the infrastructure costs – which probably include shipping low-cost goods in a day – are eating up fast.
Also, there are fewer "Supplementary Items" that can damage local convenience stores, mom-and-pop stores and drug stores such as CVS and Rite-Aid.
If you really need toothpaste or soap or dental floss or deodorant, you can still go to get it instead of waiting for a day for it to come.